How to fix: The sim card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported

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I was using my iPhone earlier today and it was very clear it was overdue a reboot.  I prefer to do hard reboots when I actually reboot.  This involves pressing and holding both the home and power buttons at the same time, keeping them depressed until the phone itself displays the Apple boot logo (ignore the slide to power off).  It’s better than simply powering the phone off and then on again.

After such a reboot the iPhone took longer than normal to boot up.  When it did so, the message “iPhone activated” appeared.  This isn’t something to be concerned about, all iPhones do this from time to time.  Anyway, I needed to sync my iPhone so I plugged it into my PC.  When I did so, iTunes identified the iPhone had been connected and displayed the following message, “The sim card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported“.

Sim card invalid

I went through a series of things including rebooting the iPhone again, rebooting my PC and plugging in / unplugging the iPhone from the PC a few times.  Google didn’t have any answers for me except regarding firmware 1.x.  It’s June 2009 and we’re 2 days away from version 3 of the iPhone firmware being released.  I have an iPhone 3G with firmware 2.2 installed.  The handset is jailbroken with the yellowsn0w application installed so I can put my Vodafone sim card in and make use of it.  (I live in the UK where O2 is the approved carrier).  Frustrated I started to think about the problem some more.

In the end, I re-ran my jailbreak software to reload the custom 2.2 firmware to my handset.  This didn’t make any direct difference, so I did the following:

  1. Power off the iPhone
  2. Remove your sim card
  3. Insert a sim card for the network you should be using (AT&T in the US and O2 in the UK)
  4. Power on the iPhone
  5. Sync iPhone with iTunes
  6. Power off the iPhone
  7. Insert your preferred sim card (in my case Vodafone UK)
  8. Power on the iPhone
  9. Connect to iTunes and your iPhone will once more be able to sync

It is entirely possible that if you find yourself in the same position as myself and attempt steps 1-9 with no success that you may need to re-jailbreak your iPhone before repeating steps 1-9 to also be successful.

I hope this blog post proves to be of use to others since, once again, Google seemed to be lacking in answers to an iPhone problem I was experiencing!


  • ArcticPrince

    A little late,, but if you put your phone in Airplane mode it will not check the sim and you can synch and transfer to your little hearts content…..

  • maldiTAL

    Airplane mode doesn’t work anymore! 🙁

  • Melanie-gregory

    This absolutely works!!! thank u so much xx

  • Rob

    No problem. Glad to have helped.

  • herbert

    i got a secondhand iphone 3g 3.1.3 from uk with O2 card in it, am in
    africa so cant use O2 so inserted another simcard switched on and it
    itunes and it said “The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear
    to be supported” what do i do???

  • Rob

    You can’t activate it over the air so you’ll have to active it via iTunes.

    Put the O2 sim in the phone and connect to iTunes.

    Unless you have an unlocked handset, or are going to jailbreak the device and used one of the apps like ultrasn0w you won’t be able to use any sim in that device than the O2 one.

  • im here in oman, im having the same problem, what should i do?

  • Gsr

    OMG that work perfectly thank you so much 

    also for anyone having this problem in australia i used a telstra next G sim card 

  • B1ack_wh1te

    hi , this news nice . But i have not AT&T sim card . If i have not AT&T sim ; how fix it ? Pls write me . . .

  • Rob

    Buy or borrow an AT&T sim. 🙂

  • Kumar R


    I updated my iphone4 software to IOS5. After software update, i am getting the message that “The sim card inserted in this iphone does not appear to be supported”.

    I restarted the phone, pluged and unpluged, googled for this…but no sucess.

    Can any one tell me how to solve this issue. 🙁


  • Sarsor

    hi every one please I need help 
    I have Iphone 3gs 32gb
    I restarted it fiw days ago  now the iphone does not work always come just same message
                         The sim card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported“.
    I tried  .   TM .     VODAFON    .    VIRGIN     .3.      GIFFGAFF   .ORANGE     .   AT&T. 
    still same problem can any  one help please 

  • Rob

    What network was the phone set to when originally shipped?

  • Phobaphobic

    ….except when you can’t access the airplane settings. Doh.

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